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5 Events That Growing Restaurateurs Shouldn't Skip in 2024

5 Events That Growing Restaurateurs Shouldn't Skip in 2024

TLDR

As a restaurateur aiming to expand your business in 2024, attending industry events is essential for making connections and gaining valuable insights. With so many conferences and expos scheduled throughout the year, deciding which ones to attend can feel overwhelming. However, certain events stand out for offering prime networking, education, and partnership opportunities that can take your restaurant to the next level. In this article, we will walk through the 5 can't-miss events for ambitious restaurateurs in 2024. By picking and choosing the events that best align with your business goals, you can make this year a landmark year for expanding your restaurant's reach and success. Let's dive in and start planning your 2024 conference schedule.

Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit (March 24-26, 2024)

As a restaurateur looking to expand your business, attending the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit should be at the top of your list. This premier franchise event connects emerging brands with investors and provides invaluable education and networking.

Connect with Fellow Restaurateurs

The summit offers opportunities to connect with fellow restaurant owners and franchisors. Learning from their experiences and expanding into new markets can help you avoid costly mistakes. Discussing innovative menu options, operational efficiencies, and customer engagement strategies may reveal ideas you can implement to improve your own business.

Explore Franchising and Licensing Options

For local restaurants seeking to expand into new territories, franchising and licensing are attractive options. At the summit, you can explore different models and connect with brands that match your style and values. Discussing details like initial investments, royalties, and territorial rights will help determine if franchising or licensing is right for your business.

Stay up-to-date with Industry Trends

Keynote presentations and educational sessions feature insights from industry experts on trends like virtual restaurants, off-premises dining, and sustainability. Learning how these trends are shaping the restaurant industry will help ensure your business remains competitive. You may discover new technologies or operational processes to implement that boost efficiency and the customer experience.

Attending franchise and restaurant industry events is key for local restaurants looking to expand into new markets. The connections and knowledge gained at the Summit will provide insights to help take your business to the next level.

National Restaurant Association Show (May 18-21, 2024)

As a restaurateur looking to expand in 2024, attending the National Restaurant Association Show (NRA Show) should be high on your priorities. Held annually in May in Chicago, the NRA Show is the premier event for the restaurant and food service industry.

Connect with Suppliers and Industry Leaders

The show floor features the latest products, services, and technologies from over 2,000 exhibitors. This is an ideal opportunity to connect with suppliers, evaluate products hands-on, and find resources to improve your operations. You can also attend educational sessions led by industry leaders on the latest trends.

Networking and Partnership Opportunities

With over 280 international companies attending, the NRA Show attracts restaurateurs and executives from around the world. Use this chance to network, exchange ideas, and explore potential partnerships or collaborations. Many deals and relationships are formed at industry events like this.

The event highlighted several important points:

  • Gain insights into the latest food, beverage, and flavor trends to optimize your menu and capitalize on trending options.
  • Learn best practices for menu optimization to increase check averages and revenue.
  • Get guidance on properly pricing menu items for maximum profit. Understand factors influencing pricing and repricing strategies.
  • Explore financing options from banks, investors, and alternative lenders to support expansion plans. Network with potential funders.
  • Hear about the rise of off-premise dining and optimizing operations to benefit.
  • Stay up to date on changes in tipping, service fees, and labor costs to inform restaurant policies.
  • Learn the latest digital marketing and social media strategies to promote your brand and drive sales.
  • Understand the benefits of technologies like AI, automation, and IoT for your business and operations.
  • Gain insights into attracting and retaining talent in the current labor market. Hear workforce management and training best practices.

Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest Trends

The show's keynote presentations, panel discussions, and hands-on demonstrations cover emerging technologies, menu trends, marketing strategies, and more. Attending these sessions is a great way to gain valuable insights, inspiration, and an edge over your competition.

Fast Casual Executive Summit (July 17-19, 2024)

The Fast Casual Executive Summit is one of the most significant conferences in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) and fast-casual space. As an expanding restaurateur, attending this three-day summit in Chicago would provide valuable insights into the latest industry trends and connect you with others in this sector.

Learn from Industry Leaders

The event features keynote speeches and panel discussions led by executives from major brands like Chipotle, Blaze Pizza, and McAlister's Deli. Hearing their strategies and lessons learned firsthand can help you gain a competitive advantage and avoid common mistakes as your business grows.

Explore the Latest Innovations

With the rapid pace of change in the restaurant industry, staying on top of new technologies and operational processes is key to success. The Fast Casual Executive Summit showcases the latest point-of-sale systems, online ordering platforms, payment technologies, and more. Seeing product demos in person will allow you to make informed decisions as you scale your business.

Network and Foster Partnerships

Some of the most valuable takeaways from industry events come from networking and relationship building. The Fast Casual Executive Summit provides many opportunities to connect with other restaurant owners, franchisors, and vendors. Starting conversations, exchanging business cards, and following up with new contacts after the conference could lead to mentorships, collaborations, or client partnerships that fuel your growth.

Attending conferences like the Fast Casual Executive Summit requires an investment of both time and money. However, for expanding restauranteurs, the knowledge and connections gained make the experience invaluable. The insights and relationships built at this summit could shape the trajectory of your business for years to come.

FSTEC (September 15–18, 2024)

The FSTEC conference in Texas draws restaurant owners and operators interested in the latest technology innovations. Even though the details for this year's conference have not yet been finalized, last year's event included 70 speakers such as Jim Bitticks, President and Chief Operating Officer of Dave's Hot Chicken, and Phil Crawford, Chief Technology Officer of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

Learn From Industry Leaders

Industry leaders will give presentations highlighting products that help restaurants improve operations and customer experiences. You'll learn strategies for adopting new technologies and best practices for integrating different technologies into a cohesive digital strategy. Case studies from restaurants that have successfully implemented new technologies will provide examples of benefits as well as potential challenges to consider.

See The Latest Technologies

Get hands-on demos of the newest restaurant technologies in areas like POS systems, marketing, food delivery and more. Find solutions that can help you optimize efficiency and grow your business. Viewing demonstrations of emerging technologies can show you how software and hardware products might benefit your restaurant's operations. Attending these demos in person allows you to ask questions and evaluate the feasibility of new solutions for your specific needs.

Network And Collaborate

Connect with other restaurant owners and operators facing similar challenges. Build relationships that lead to future partnerships, problem-solving, and knowledge sharing. You can gain valuable insight from peers and identify potential collaborations that help scale your business. Staying connected with your network after the event through follow-up emails or phone calls can strengthen those relationships over time.

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show (November 06-07, 2024)

The highly anticipated Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, a premier restaurant trade show that takes place each year, is once again being held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida in 2024. Attendees include independent business owners, fast food operators, chefs, caterers, and bakers, as well as personnel from bars, nightclubs, hospitals, hotels, and commercial food service operations.

Learn From Industry Experts

Hear from industry experts through educational sessions, presentations, and panel discussions covering topics such as menu innovation, marketing strategies, labor issues, and technology solutions. Gain insights that can help improve your restaurant's operations and performance.

Source New Products And Services

Browse exhibits showcasing the latest food, beverage, equipment and supplies. Meet face-to-face with vendors to learn about new products and services that can benefit your business. Find solutions to optimize efficiency, cut costs and boost revenue.

Network And Collaborate

Connect with other restaurant and lodging professionals facing similar challenges. Build valuable relationships that lead to future partnerships, problem-solving, and knowledge sharing. Staying connected after the event through follow-up emails or phone calls can strengthen those relationships over time.

Promote Your Brand

As an attendee, you would have the chance to increase the visibility of your restaurant brand through networking and sponsorship opportunities. You might sponsor an event, host a booth in the exhibit hall, or give a short presentation. Building brand awareness at these high-profile industry events could significantly raise your credibility and drive new interest from investors, partners, media, and customers.

Final Thoughts

A wealth of opportunities exist this year for entrepreneurs to invest in their development including franchising, marketing, food and technology conferences, and expos. To expand your reach and boost profitability, be strategic in choosing events that speak to your brand's unique needs and aspirations. The relationships and knowledge you'll acquire at these conferences will provide an indispensable edge as you take your restaurant to the next level. By engaging with your community and keeping a pulse on emerging industry trends, you'll strengthen your business for whatever the future brings. The time is now to plan your schedule, get involved, and leverage events to maximize your growth in 2024.

5 Events That Growing Restaurateurs Shouldn't Skip in 2024

5 Events That Growing Restaurateurs Shouldn't Skip in 2024
by
Soma Amir
by
Doron Segal
by
Tomer Molovinsky
by
Olivia Terenzio
by
Jessica Buckley
by
Ashley Rodriguez
November 1, 2023

TLDR

As a restaurateur aiming to expand your business in 2024, attending industry events is essential for making connections and gaining valuable insights. With so many conferences and expos scheduled throughout the year, deciding which ones to attend can feel overwhelming. However, certain events stand out for offering prime networking, education, and partnership opportunities that can take your restaurant to the next level. In this article, we will walk through the 5 can't-miss events for ambitious restaurateurs in 2024. By picking and choosing the events that best align with your business goals, you can make this year a landmark year for expanding your restaurant's reach and success. Let's dive in and start planning your 2024 conference schedule.

Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit (March 24-26, 2024)

As a restaurateur looking to expand your business, attending the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit should be at the top of your list. This premier franchise event connects emerging brands with investors and provides invaluable education and networking.

Connect with Fellow Restaurateurs

The summit offers opportunities to connect with fellow restaurant owners and franchisors. Learning from their experiences and expanding into new markets can help you avoid costly mistakes. Discussing innovative menu options, operational efficiencies, and customer engagement strategies may reveal ideas you can implement to improve your own business.

Explore Franchising and Licensing Options

For local restaurants seeking to expand into new territories, franchising and licensing are attractive options. At the summit, you can explore different models and connect with brands that match your style and values. Discussing details like initial investments, royalties, and territorial rights will help determine if franchising or licensing is right for your business.

Stay up-to-date with Industry Trends

Keynote presentations and educational sessions feature insights from industry experts on trends like virtual restaurants, off-premises dining, and sustainability. Learning how these trends are shaping the restaurant industry will help ensure your business remains competitive. You may discover new technologies or operational processes to implement that boost efficiency and the customer experience.

Attending franchise and restaurant industry events is key for local restaurants looking to expand into new markets. The connections and knowledge gained at the Summit will provide insights to help take your business to the next level.

National Restaurant Association Show (May 18-21, 2024)

As a restaurateur looking to expand in 2024, attending the National Restaurant Association Show (NRA Show) should be high on your priorities. Held annually in May in Chicago, the NRA Show is the premier event for the restaurant and food service industry.

Connect with Suppliers and Industry Leaders

The show floor features the latest products, services, and technologies from over 2,000 exhibitors. This is an ideal opportunity to connect with suppliers, evaluate products hands-on, and find resources to improve your operations. You can also attend educational sessions led by industry leaders on the latest trends.

Networking and Partnership Opportunities

With over 280 international companies attending, the NRA Show attracts restaurateurs and executives from around the world. Use this chance to network, exchange ideas, and explore potential partnerships or collaborations. Many deals and relationships are formed at industry events like this.

The event highlighted several important points:

  • Gain insights into the latest food, beverage, and flavor trends to optimize your menu and capitalize on trending options.
  • Learn best practices for menu optimization to increase check averages and revenue.
  • Get guidance on properly pricing menu items for maximum profit. Understand factors influencing pricing and repricing strategies.
  • Explore financing options from banks, investors, and alternative lenders to support expansion plans. Network with potential funders.
  • Hear about the rise of off-premise dining and optimizing operations to benefit.
  • Stay up to date on changes in tipping, service fees, and labor costs to inform restaurant policies.
  • Learn the latest digital marketing and social media strategies to promote your brand and drive sales.
  • Understand the benefits of technologies like AI, automation, and IoT for your business and operations.
  • Gain insights into attracting and retaining talent in the current labor market. Hear workforce management and training best practices.

Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest Trends

The show's keynote presentations, panel discussions, and hands-on demonstrations cover emerging technologies, menu trends, marketing strategies, and more. Attending these sessions is a great way to gain valuable insights, inspiration, and an edge over your competition.

Fast Casual Executive Summit (July 17-19, 2024)

The Fast Casual Executive Summit is one of the most significant conferences in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) and fast-casual space. As an expanding restaurateur, attending this three-day summit in Chicago would provide valuable insights into the latest industry trends and connect you with others in this sector.

Learn from Industry Leaders

The event features keynote speeches and panel discussions led by executives from major brands like Chipotle, Blaze Pizza, and McAlister's Deli. Hearing their strategies and lessons learned firsthand can help you gain a competitive advantage and avoid common mistakes as your business grows.

Explore the Latest Innovations

With the rapid pace of change in the restaurant industry, staying on top of new technologies and operational processes is key to success. The Fast Casual Executive Summit showcases the latest point-of-sale systems, online ordering platforms, payment technologies, and more. Seeing product demos in person will allow you to make informed decisions as you scale your business.

Network and Foster Partnerships

Some of the most valuable takeaways from industry events come from networking and relationship building. The Fast Casual Executive Summit provides many opportunities to connect with other restaurant owners, franchisors, and vendors. Starting conversations, exchanging business cards, and following up with new contacts after the conference could lead to mentorships, collaborations, or client partnerships that fuel your growth.

Attending conferences like the Fast Casual Executive Summit requires an investment of both time and money. However, for expanding restauranteurs, the knowledge and connections gained make the experience invaluable. The insights and relationships built at this summit could shape the trajectory of your business for years to come.

FSTEC (September 15–18, 2024)

The FSTEC conference in Texas draws restaurant owners and operators interested in the latest technology innovations. Even though the details for this year's conference have not yet been finalized, last year's event included 70 speakers such as Jim Bitticks, President and Chief Operating Officer of Dave's Hot Chicken, and Phil Crawford, Chief Technology Officer of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

Learn From Industry Leaders

Industry leaders will give presentations highlighting products that help restaurants improve operations and customer experiences. You'll learn strategies for adopting new technologies and best practices for integrating different technologies into a cohesive digital strategy. Case studies from restaurants that have successfully implemented new technologies will provide examples of benefits as well as potential challenges to consider.

See The Latest Technologies

Get hands-on demos of the newest restaurant technologies in areas like POS systems, marketing, food delivery and more. Find solutions that can help you optimize efficiency and grow your business. Viewing demonstrations of emerging technologies can show you how software and hardware products might benefit your restaurant's operations. Attending these demos in person allows you to ask questions and evaluate the feasibility of new solutions for your specific needs.

Network And Collaborate

Connect with other restaurant owners and operators facing similar challenges. Build relationships that lead to future partnerships, problem-solving, and knowledge sharing. You can gain valuable insight from peers and identify potential collaborations that help scale your business. Staying connected with your network after the event through follow-up emails or phone calls can strengthen those relationships over time.

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show (November 06-07, 2024)

The highly anticipated Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, a premier restaurant trade show that takes place each year, is once again being held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida in 2024. Attendees include independent business owners, fast food operators, chefs, caterers, and bakers, as well as personnel from bars, nightclubs, hospitals, hotels, and commercial food service operations.

Learn From Industry Experts

Hear from industry experts through educational sessions, presentations, and panel discussions covering topics such as menu innovation, marketing strategies, labor issues, and technology solutions. Gain insights that can help improve your restaurant's operations and performance.

Source New Products And Services

Browse exhibits showcasing the latest food, beverage, equipment and supplies. Meet face-to-face with vendors to learn about new products and services that can benefit your business. Find solutions to optimize efficiency, cut costs and boost revenue.

Network And Collaborate

Connect with other restaurant and lodging professionals facing similar challenges. Build valuable relationships that lead to future partnerships, problem-solving, and knowledge sharing. Staying connected after the event through follow-up emails or phone calls can strengthen those relationships over time.

Promote Your Brand

As an attendee, you would have the chance to increase the visibility of your restaurant brand through networking and sponsorship opportunities. You might sponsor an event, host a booth in the exhibit hall, or give a short presentation. Building brand awareness at these high-profile industry events could significantly raise your credibility and drive new interest from investors, partners, media, and customers.

Final Thoughts

A wealth of opportunities exist this year for entrepreneurs to invest in their development including franchising, marketing, food and technology conferences, and expos. To expand your reach and boost profitability, be strategic in choosing events that speak to your brand's unique needs and aspirations. The relationships and knowledge you'll acquire at these conferences will provide an indispensable edge as you take your restaurant to the next level. By engaging with your community and keeping a pulse on emerging industry trends, you'll strengthen your business for whatever the future brings. The time is now to plan your schedule, get involved, and leverage events to maximize your growth in 2024.

Soma Amir

About the author

Doron Segal

About the author

Hey I'm Doron, the co-founder & CTO of Per Diem — a mobile app platform for restaurants. I'm also a dad and a husband. I love to travel and meet new people.I love creating things, and see people using the stuff I built.Prior to Per Diem I worked at Saildrone, OpenTable, Apple, Beats Music, Siemens.

Tomer Molovinsky

About the author

A second time founder with a passion for building products at the intersection of hospitality and technology. I've had the pleasure of launching reservation systems, mobile payment solutions, and loyalty programs at OpenTable and Resy, and witnessed how operators were losing a direct connection with their customers online. We built Per Diem to strengthen the relationships that businesses have with those customers, and to ensure that local businesses can thrive in today's economy.

Olivia Terenzio

About the author

Jessica Buckley

About the author

Ashley Rodriguez

About the author

Ashley is a freelance writer and podcast producer based in Madison, Wisconsin. She hosts a podcast called Boss Barista and writes an accompanying newsletter with full transcripts of each episode and articles about coffee and restaurant work. You can check out her work here (ashleyrodriguez.work/).

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